Vacant unit, how many showings a week?

7 Replies

Hello BP family,

I have a unit in one of my quadplex for rent. Property manager put the listing live on hotpad, zillow, trulia (etc) last week. She is going to put it on facebook and cragilist later this week.

This is my first rental and so far I have the following:

Showings: 2 

Calls: 8 

Emails: 36

No applications or comments.


From these numbers should I be concerned? Should I lower the price or deposit? How long is average vacancy? This is a lower income property (c class) area.

Ask the PM what the response from the actual showings was. You say "no comments", but no one walks through a unit without anything being said.  Did they mention condition or price?  The showing agent should be asking for their feedback and then relay that to you.

Lower the price to get more showings and applications.

Hey there, I’m a landlord and also a realtor. The property manager should be refreshing those ads daily so it’s at the top when people are searching. Not sure what you’re renting it at but you can consider a price drop, and how is the condition of the unit?  However (now I’m speaking as a landlord) DO NOT decrease your security deposit. This is what covers you in an Instance there’s property damage when a tenant moves. You don’t want to sell yourself short cause chances are you might still have to come out of pocket when a tenant moves out. So don’t lower your deposit amount. As far as vacancy that’s all depending on your market look at comparables see what the rents are going for and look at how long those units have been on the market, and that should inform your decision. 

All the best! 

@Marc Winter I am not sure if there was a showing agent, but I'll ask. And to get some feedback on what there comments were. I know the property manager company does pre-screening and give the tenant a temporary lock box code. But, from the activity mentioned above does that sound about average? I am willing to lower the price to attract tenants, don't want to leave it vacant and a whole months rent!

@Karen Jackson Condition is rent ready, not the best but priced pretty average for the area. Mine is priced at $700 which is average. I will not lower the security deposit, thank you! But as a landlord how does my activity sound so far without knowing the area?

@Robert Hernandez Well with this time of year there’s many things to take into consideration. People are preparing their children for back to school if school hasn’t begun already. It’s also the end of the month so it may pick up around this weekend into next week. Don’t be so quick to drop your price to get it rented. If showings are not picking up by the week of Sept. 9th I would then consider a slight price drop so you can at least get it rented by the 15th. Unless you don’t mind having it vacant for a month. Sometimes you have to loose a little in the beginning to gain in the end. And make sure the numbers makes sense for you and dropping it doesn’t drastically cut into your cash flow etc.

In addition if there were 36 emails, have the PM follow up with those potential leads. Cause that’s a lot of inquiries you should at least have more apps and showings in unless they didn’t meet your criteria.

I filled a vacancy this month that move in this weekend.

Here are my rough numbers: ~100 responded via email (many had not read the ad well enough to note they did not qualify for some reason such as no pets and/or no smoking and were instantly eliminated), ~15 came to one or both open houses but about 5-10 of the 100 were still interested and indicated they wanted to see the unit), we got 2 applications of which one perspective tenant pulled their application after we started processing it (so they forfeit their application fees). So we had a single applicant (not counting the one that pulled after we started processing their application). fortunately for us they seem like a very good tenant.

I do not know your market so I do not know what the vacancy rate is. In our market the vacancy rate is very low. We typically only need one open house to get a qualified applicant at full market rate. It is also not clear how long the unit has been advertised. If it was my market and has been over a week I would want more than 44 inquires. If I had 44 inquiries I would expect 5 to 8 people come and look at the unit.

How did you set your rent? Did you do a market comparison of other units? Rentometer? Realtor suggest price?

If I was in a soft rental market I would be willing to list my unit a little below market rent to fill the vacancy quicker and to get more qualified candidates. A month vacancy can cover a small rent difference for many months. My unit rented for $1700. If I lower the rent $100 to avoid a month vacancy I would be ahead until month 17. Note I have a different view for commercial MF where the market price is a function of the rent (I would be more willing to have vacancy if taking a reduced rent amount impacted the RE value).

Good luck

@Robert Hernandez , IDK, but from my experience letting a rental prospect walk through an available listing is mostly a waste of time and of a lead.  They will have questions, and they are looking at other competing properties.  If they don't get their questions answered on the spot, from a live person, they forget and move on.  Just the way I've found it to be.  Maybe people are different in your town.

I'm not sure what market you're in but in my main market I tend to get the most action people inquiring/showings/etc. from around the 8th to the 15th of every month. Later in the month tends to be much slower. 

Check the other properties on Zillow/Craigslist/etc. to get an idea if you're overpriced or not. Though your rental price could well be fine and the issue is the time of the month or your PM.